Friday, April 29, 2016

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Kim Alexander and Sara Dobie Bauer

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are pleased to welcome Kim Alexander and Sara Dobie Bauer.

Kim Alexander
Kim Alexander

Kim Alexander grew up in the wilds of Long Island, NY and slowly drifted south until she reached Key West. After spending ten rum-soaked years DJing in the Keys, she moved to Washington DC, where she lives with two cats, an angry fish, and her extremely patient husband. She began writing when she ran out of authors to interview (and they pulled the plug on her channel, Sirius XM Book Radio.)

Kim was in her twenties when she finally read a book not prominently featuring spaceships and/or wizards. Turns out Jane Austen was pretty funny!

The Sand Prince is Kim’s first novel and begins a fantasy series called "The Demon Door." Her husband tells her she needs to write at least ten more books if she intends to retire in Thailand, so thank you for your patronage.
Kim's Book:

Kim's Links:

Sara Dobie Bauer
Sara Dobie Bauer

Sara Dobie Bauer is a writer, model, and mental health advocate with a creative writing degree from Ohio University. She spends most days at home in her pajamas as a book nerd and sex-pert for Her short story, “Don’t Ball the Boss,” was nominated for the 2015 Pushcart Prize, inspired by her shameless crush on Benedict Cumberbatch. She lives with her hottie husband and two precious pups in Northeast Ohio, although she would really like to live in a Tim Burton film. She is the author of Life without Harry, Forever Dead, and Wolf Among Sheep. World Weaver Press will publish her novel, Bite Somebody, summer of 2016.

Sara's Books:

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Ten Interesting Facts about Me

Continuing on with the "blogging challenge" the next category is "Ten interesting facts about you."

Not sure I can come up with ten interesting facts about me. I'm pretty boring.

1) I have owned at least one computer since 1981. I still kick myself for not going into computer science in college in the early '80s. I could be a Microsoft millionaire by now. But the math intimidated me.

2) I have a BS in Forest Resources earned from the College of Forest Resources at the University of Washington (go Dawgs!). Side note: the College of Forest Resources is now the School of Forest Resources in the College of the Environment, a change I did not support. My major was Pulp and Paper Engineering. I know more than I want to know about how paper is made. Ironically, I had almost as much math earning this degree as I would have had in computer science.

3) I was in the U.S. Army for four years. My job (or MOS) was linguist. I learned Korean at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. But that was nearly 30 years ago and I can barely speak a word of Korean now.

4) I was in Military Intelligence in the Army. I still know secrets although I Googled one a while back and found the "secret" all over the internet.

5) Some of my earliest memories involve politics. My mother was very active in local politics and took me to all sorts of events. To this day, I'm very interested in politics and enjoy watching the tactics and strategies of various campaigns.

6) I like to drive fast. I have even driven on a race track.

7) I worked as a disk jockey at a country music station for two years between high school and college. When the ratings came out, I beat Paul Harvey in our local market. I felt kind of bad about that.

8) I have what dermatologist call "type one skin." I sunburn in less than 15 minutes without
protection. I have never had a tan in my life (my freckles get darker and the skin around them burns). If I am forced to be outside in the sun for any length of time, I use the highest SPF sunscreen I can find (usually 75). Even then I can burn in a few hours. This is partially why I took to wearing hats (that, and they are classy).

9) I taught myself to type at age 12. I knew if I wanted to be a writer I'd have to know how to type. My older sister was taking typing in high school, so I borrowed her instruction book and used it to learn how to type. Yes, at age 12, I wanted to be a writer.

10) I am diagnosed ADD and am pretty sure I'm dyslexic. I am on drugs to help the ADD (and they do help) but the dyslexia has meant I've always been a poor speller and not a very good reader, either. I tend to "whole word" read which can have hilarious results as I assume a word is something it's not. Since I'm a poor speller who has trouble concentrating, I decided to become a writer.

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with J.E. Bean and Nicholas Conley

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are happy to welcome writers J.E. Bean and Nicholas Conley.

J. E. Bean
J.E. Bean

J. E. Bean is a talented young author whose writing style is action-packed while developing strong character relationships. She is an avid reader who wrote her first novel Intellectual entirely at age 11. She is a native of Michigan where she lives with her family. She wants to inspire other persons her age to start
reading books again.  Watch for J. E. Bean’s second novel coming out later this year!

J.E.'s Book:


J.E.'s Link:


Nicholas Conley
Nicholas Conley

Nicholas Conley's passion for storytelling began at an early age, prompted by a love of science fiction novels, comic books and horror movies. His novel Pale Highway is influenced by his experience working with Alzheimer's patients in a nursing home, a subject that he has also written about for publications such as Vox. When not busy writing, Nicholas spends his time reading, traveling to new places, and indulging in a lifelong coffee habit. In order to better establish himself on the planet Earth, Nicholas has currently made his home in New Hampshire. More information on Nicholas can be found on his website,

Nicholas's Books:

Pale Highway

The Cage Legacy

Nicholas's Links:


From today's show: A Comet Blew Away Some of Mars's Atmosphere

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Watch this!

Watch this on the biggest screen you can (it's high definition):

Jessica Jones

I have had it with Marvel.

I am sick and tired of the countless, endless Marvel movies. I have no desire to see Captain America: Civil War. Well, maybe if the reviews come in very good. It seems the public has not lost their appetite for Marvel movies so I'm in the minority here. But I am tired of Marvel superhero movies.

Then I decided to watch Jessica Jones, the Netflix original series. I knew it was Marvel but I gave it a try anyway. And I was immediately hooked. Jones, played by the very talented Krysten Ritter, is a deep, complex, and feeling superhero. Sort of a fallen Avenger, even though she was never an Avenger. She is sarcastic, caustic, and yet you feel, see, and hear her pain. She has a horrifying back-story that during the course of the first season they leak out slowly.

The show also has a wonderful villain in Kilgrave, played by a former Doctor Who actor, David Tennant. Tennant seems to relish being the bad guy. And an awful bad guy he is who uses his superpower in the most horrific ways.

The supporting cast is great. Carrie-Anne Moss as a slimy attorney, for example.

I loved Jessica Jones. I've watched all the first season now and, no spoilers, but it build and builds and builds to a climax in the last episode.

Jessica Jones is set in the Avengers universe (if that's the right way to put it) and there are a few hints to tell you that. But unlike the Avengers movies, Jessica Jones is dark, complex and, frankly, not for the squeamish.

If you have Netflix streaming, watch this. If you don't, it's almost worth the price.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Kiss and a Cat

Back the the thirty day blogging challenge. The next subject is "your first kiss."

I hardly remember my first kiss. I think it was in the front of a pickup truck as I dropped off a girl after hanging out together (we were in play together).

So I'm going to talk about my first kiss with my wife.

We were on the porch of her house (she still lived with her parents) and saying goodnight. It was a rainy, dark day in the Seattle area and we'd gone and seen a movie (don't ask me which movie, it might have been this one).

So I stepped in and took her in my arms and kissed her.

And a cat jumped on our faces. It was black. I remember it was sitting on a brick ledge as we were saying goodnight but I ignored it. I don't know if it thought I was attacking my wife or was envious of the attention, but it jumped on our faces between us as we kissed.

Needless to say, the kiss was interrupted.

My wife and I still joke about that first kiss and the cat.

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Amy H. Sturgis

Today on a special edition of the Speculative Fiction Cantina, we welcome speculative fiction expert, Dr. Amy H. Sturgis.

Amy H. Sturgis
Amy H. Sturgis

Amy H. Sturgis earned her PhD in intellectual history from Vanderbilt University, specializes in Science Fiction/Fantasy and Native American Studies, and teaches at Lenoir-Rhyne University. In addition, she contributes the regular “Looking Back on Genre History” segment to StarShipSofa, which in 2010 became the first podcast in history to win a Hugo Award. In 2006, Sturgis was honored with the Imperishable Flame Award for Achievement in J.R.R. Tolkien/Inklings scholarship. In 2015, the Los Angeles Press Club named her Reason Magazine article "Not Your Parents' Dystopias: Millennial Fondness for Worlds Gone Wrong" the "Best Magazine Review/Criticism/Column" of the year. She has authored four books, edited six others, published over fifty essays in scholarly and popular publications, and given over 200 presentations at universities, science fiction conventions, and other venues across North American and Europe. She also has been interviewed as a genre expert in a variety of programs and publications such as NPR's "Talk of the Nation" and The Huffington Post. Sturgis lives with her husband in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Her official website is

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

My First Memory

I found this "30-day writing challenge" on Facebook. And since I'm always looking for ideas about what to blog about, I decided to use some of the prompts. But I won't be posting once every day for thirty days, more like once a week until I run out of prompts I like. For instance, one prompt is "What tattoos you have and if they have any meaning." Well, I have no tattoos because I've never thought of anything I wanted to permanently etch into my hide.

So let's get started. The first prompt I'm going to do is: "Your earliest memory."

This is an interesting (and somewhat controversial) subject.

I don't know how old I was, but quite young (probably a toddler). I was in bed and my mother came in to my room with what looked like a huge pair of scissors. She said (this is my memory), "I'm going to cut your feet out of your pajamas." Which I interpreted as she was going to cut my feet off. I remember saying "No!" and "Don't cut off my feet!"

Finally, she explained she was going to cut the feet of my pajamas off because she thought I was too warm with them. So I calmed down and let her do it.

Many years later I asked my mother if she remembered that. She said she did. But, she added, I couldn't talk. But in my memory I distinctly remember talking. That's the controversy.

I have another memory and I don't know if it's before or after that one about the pajamas. And no one in my family remembers it. But I remember the neighbor across the street having a huge candle with a gigantic flame in their front yard (maybe for a Christmas decoration). My brother or sister would hold me up to the window to see it, but it scared me and I would yell. I don't remember talking in this memory. I just remember being scared.

My first memory of a news event was John F. Kennedy's funeral. I turned on the T.V. one day and was disappointed to find that both channels had some parade. At first I thought it would be fun to see a parade. But the parade was boring and I turned it off. Years later I saw pictures of the funeral procession for JFK, and realized that's what I was watching. I would have been three years old.

Monday, April 11, 2016

My Latest Novel, Forces, Now Available for Pre-Order

My latest novel, Forces, is now available for pre-order from Amazon and Smashwords.

From the back cover:

Captain Olly Johnson has twice used his stolen Bussard ram jet, the Longboat, to blackmail human colonies into giving him large amounts of gold. That makes him humanity's first interstellar pirate, even though his ship travels slower than light. One more profitable raid, and Johnson thinks he, his family, and his First Mate John Larsen can retire, and never have to worry about money again.

Approaching a third star system after an eight-year (ship's time) journey, the pirates have found mysteries they cannot solve: an entire population of a human colony missing and an unknown, alien-looking ship in orbit. When the alien ship comes after them and they can't outrun its superior technology, they have to decide to fight or surrender. And Johnson isn't the type to surrender.

Have they stumbled into a galactic war, or are they about to start one?

Be the first on your block to enjoy the science fiction adventure!

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Kelvin Kwa and Kevin Tumlinson

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are pleased to welcome writers Kelvin Kwa and Kevin Tumlinson.

Kelvin Kwa
Kelvin Kwa

Kelvin Kwa is a Microsoft certified professional with a diploma in computing and applied physics. His love of technology, mythology and fantasy has led to years of collecting and reading. Kwa is a husband and a father living near Melbourne, Australia. Apex Predator is his first book.

Kelvin 's Book:

Apex Predator

Kelvin's Links:


Kevin Tumlinson
Kevin Tumlinson

Kevin is the author of dozens of novels and novellas, including his popular contemporary science fiction suspense novel, Evergreen. Kevin lives with his wife, Kara, in the Greater Houston area, but has a grand master plan to chuck it all and live as an RV nomad, exploring the world, chasing his travel muse, and creating stories from the grist he finds out there.

Kevin's Books:



30-Day Author

Kevin's Links:


From Today's Show: Pregnant T-Rex Found.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Mass versus Weight

The "bulk bag" of industrial powder massed over a ton (2,400 pounds to be exact). It was suspended from a chain and could turn easily. For some reason I wanted to turn it (I don't remember the reason why). So I pushed on it and got it spinning. When I wanted it to stop spinning, I tried to do so. And I found it nearly impossible. It was weightless, but it still had mass and therefore momentum and I couldn't stop its angular momentum as easily as I thought I should be able to.

That was a real-life practical experience for me dealing with mass versus weight.

Mass is a property of matter. All matter has mass. Mass is important. For example, in Newton's second law, force equals mass times acceleration (F=ma). And momentum is mass times velocity (p=mv).

("Force," "acceleration," "momentum," and "velocity" are all vectors but we'll ignore that for simplicity sake.)

Weight depends on a gravitational field. Weight equals mass times the force of gravity (W=mg). But the force of gravity is not a constant and is depended on mass of the two objects being acted upon, and the distance between them. But when one of the objects is the Earth (5,972,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kg) and the other is you (say 100 kg), you can pretty much ignore your mass.

Earth's gravitational acceleration is 9.8 meters per second per second. That means in on second falling on Earth, you'll be going 9.8 meters per second (about 22 mph). After another second you'll be going 19.6 meters per second (44 mph). After five seconds you'll be going 49.0 meters per second (110 mph). (This assumes no air resistance).

So let's say you mass 100 kg. So your weight on Earth is (using F-ma) 980 Newtons. Nobody talks Newtons when it comes to weight. So how do you convert Newtons to kilograms? Divide by the acceleration of gravity) "g" which is 9.8 and, voila, you weigh 100 kg.

Now, on the moon, the acceleration of gravity is about 1/6th that of the acceleration of gravity on Earth, or 1.63 meters per second per second. So on the moon you weigh 100kg times 1.63 = 163 Newtons. divide that by g and you get 16.6 kilograms. Which is what you would weigh on the moon.

But you still mass 100 kg. Remember our equation for momentum was p=mv? On the moon, "m" is the same (100 kg) as on the Earth, on Venice, an Rigel IV, where ever. So a walk of say 4 mph on Earth is 1.8 meters per second. So you'd have a momentum of 180 kilogram meters per second. And on the moon, you'd have the exact same momentum.

Here's the tricky part. Fiction depends on weight. So you stop walking on Earth and the fiction you have is six times that you have on the moon. You stop quickly, but on the moon you'd probably bump into the wall because you couldn't stop as fast. You have less weight but you have mass and therefore momentum.

Clear as mud?

Friday, April 1, 2016

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Roxanne Angelie San Jose and Brent Ayscough

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are pleased to welcome writers Roxanne Angelie San Jose and Brent Ayscough.

Roxanne Angelie San Jose 

My name is Roxanne Angelie San Jose. Anyone can simply call me "Roxanne". I was born on September 26, 1989 in the Philippines and migrated in America at the age of 13. I graduated with a degree in Political Science in UNLV Class of 2012 and currently taking web design certification program in CSN.

Roxanne's Book:


Roxanne's Links:


Brent Ayscough
Brent Ayscough

Brent Ayscough or Ace, as he is known to friends, retired from the practice of law and lives in a house overlooking the sea in Southern California. He has always loved machines, from airplanes to motorcycles, structural design, and other interests. He has enjoyed the acquaintance of diverse and interesting people, and is widely traveled. Bits and pieces of characters he has known, places he has been, seasoned with the spice of his imagination, help him create unusual stories and characters. Extensive collaboration with experts and sources, hopefully, make his stories credible and interesting.

Brent's Book:

The Visitor

From Today's Show: AI beat Go Champion.